Art Fair Insiders

Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals

I just wanted to share a few thoughts (totally my own) on things I've observed over the past 15-20 years of art fairs and other venues where I've exhibited. If it helps anyone, that's icing on the gluten-free cake.

In no particular order.

  • I was born to create!
  • The art market can be (is) fickle because "art" is in the eye of the beholder.
  • I create for me. But, if I want to sell, getting customer feedback and researching trends are essential.
  • People really are nice out there! Especially other artists. Thanks everyone.
  • I'm an average guy/artist with average sales - probably. Although I've never not made a decent profit at any show.
  • Art fair promoters/directors over hype their event.
  • My wife and I have set up and tear down down to a science. About 45 minutes. Our record is 30! #kaizen
    • Keep simplifying your processes. It will pay off in the long run.
  • Weather happens! Plan for it.
  • What goes around comes around. We always donate artwork during art fairs. It could be an official donation to the fair, or we always look for someone(s) who just need to be blessed with a piece of art. It always comes back around in sales.
  • Attitude rubs off on those around you - including your customers.
  • I get giddy with every sale. Someone really wants to buy my artwork!
  • Take pleasure knowing that someone finds value in you and your work and are willing to pay for it. You are not a sack of groceries! 
  • Enjoy it! Think about worse things you could be doing. 
  • Above all be grateful, be graceful.

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love it!!! anybody doing Paradise City, Marlborough in March? would love to experiment with this concept.

I'm not too sure but it seems that the culture has lost civility lately. We had more of it once from my experience.  It's certainly apparent on the internet.

Larry, you are the slowest I've ever seen in terms of setting up and taking down. It takes you longer to close your tent up at night, than it takes most people to take their whole tent down at the end of a show.

You are right Barry. I take much longer. Protecting Fine Art work takes longer than pushing aside a bunch of Clay jars  :-)  :-) ;-P

I agree, my system needs alot of work. It displays very nicely. I just need better efficiency in accomplishing it. Also my terrible back impedes my efforts / speed.

A lot has to do with the vehicle I transport in. I neeed to go the Sprinter / Transit / Promaster route.

Wow, some really great tips and insights....



and you get more body aches and pains and health problems than you did 20 years ago

Cheers my friend! I wish more artists had your attitude. Seems most of my shows I'm surrounded by extremely negative, snarky and ungrateful artists. Mindset is everything. You attract the same energy you give/emit... and that energy could be anything in life.

Thanks again my friend!

Really great insight and easy to understand steps.  Great advice

This sounds like I could have wrote it! ^^


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